view counter

Tree trunk borers will get them if you don’t watch out

While I was diagnosing why trees were dying at one Deale home, a neighbor complained of the loss of a flowering cherry. The tree had flowers very heavily last year, then died this spring.     A quick examination of the dead trunk showed that tree trunk borers had killed the tree.     Two different kinds of trunk borers attack cherry trees: the flat-head borer and the peach tree borer. Both borers prefer stems two or more inches in diameter. The peach-tree borer...

Summer nights are always filled with stellar sights

A gibbous moon waxes through afternoon and evening skies this week. Friday the moon, just past first quarter, is low in the southwest after sunset, with fiery Antares, the heart of Scorpius, trailing less than 10 degrees behind.     Unlike many constellations, Scorpius actually looks like its namesake. Look between the moon and Antares for the nearly aligned stars of the scorpion’s head, while its long curving tail stretches behind to the southeast, spiking upward with...

This old dog learned a new trick

I have dedicated a great deal of effort and financial investment in my quest for big perch on artificial lures. Last week I discovered I had been on the wrong track.     I experimented with the Super Rooster Tail, Beetle Spins, the Tony Accetta Pet Spoon, small Rat-L-Traps, the Little Cleo spoon, Acme Kastmasters and small Bass Assassins and Finesse minnows in various colors.     All can catch white perch. At catching really big perch, 12 inches or over, none...

The bane of this movie is the lead villain

Eight years after the Joker held Gotham City in his grip of terror, the rich have gotten richer, the poor are in Dickensian straits and the city is at a stalemate. With the Harvey Dent Act, the city has reduced crime by stuffing the jails. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale: The Flowers of War) is now a retired recluse who pines for lost love and hopes to heal a mind and body battered by his Batman stint.     Gotham and Wayne are pulled out of indolence by meaty mercenary Bane (Tom...

This escapist comedy makes your problems insignificant by comparison

With Love, Sex and the I.R.S., Bowie Community Theatre promises “a wild farce with twists of fate, sight gags, mistaken identities and hilarious comic lines.”     That’s accurate if you get your laughs from chauvinistic stereotypes, drunkenness and cross-dressing. Judging from audience reaction, Bowie Community Theatre does it darn well.     This tortuous comedy of errors naïve takes us to New York City in 1985. There androgynously named Leslie...

Randy Skinner left New York to bring Dames at Sea to Annapolis

Why does a three-time Tony-nominated New York director and choreographer come to a way-off Broadway stage in Annapolis?     Dames at Sea at Infinity Theatre Company is a blast from the deep past for Randy Skinner, who choreographed it as  a student in the mid-’70s. Nowadays, Skinner says, “people don’t write songs so tuneful.”     Skinner should know: Dancing since he was four, he has worked with some of the industry’s best. His...

Everyone has an opinion about the new sculpture at Westgate Circle

An unfinished sailboat. Maybe some bones? That’s what the neighbors of the new Westgate Circle sculpture guessed it to be. They’re not far off.     The sculpture is five 18-foot-long curved wooden ribs lined up diagonally. It is supposed to represent a deteriorating sunken sailboat. Or the skeletal remains of a whale. It’s called Shoal.     Shoal isn’t completed yet. Still to come are 20 crudely shaped forms representing fish or furled...

The googly-eyed creations of Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre’s Avenue Q offer a lesson on what happens when you don’t ­fulfill your dreams

“If you brought your kids to this, you’re [expletive] parents!”     So begins Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre’s latest production, which features puppets, songs and decidedly adult situations. It’s a show so crude, rude and politically incorrect the only thing you can do is laugh.     The show follows Princeton (Colin Hood), a recent college graduate who realizes the real world isn’t as great as he imagined it. Jobless, holding...

From plays to sculptures, what’s the good of art in our communities

The Library of Congress list of books that shaped America didn’t include Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class among its 88. But it’s one of the big books that did some molding of my mind. I’ve never been sure, however, that the crotchety social critic was right in putting art on his list of conspicuous consumptions you indulge only when you’ve worked successfully enough not to have to work.     This heady speculation is the brainchild of...

Infinity Theatre delivers a ship-shape song-and-dance spectacle

Dames at Sea offers top-notch singing and tap-dancing in a lighthearted musical theater romp.     This small-cast, low-key homage to the great days of 1930s’ musicals has all the requisite and appropriately named characters. From Utah the ingénue Ruby arrives backstage at a Broadway theater without a dime to her name and joins the cast of the musical on her first day in New York. She makes friends with Joan, a smart-talking dancer. A sailor, Dick, who also happens to be an...